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Page 1

 

Chapter 1: The Wayfarers

 

 

Chapter 1: The Wayfarers

 

     The traveler had come alone, crossing the void in search of his claim. Behind him, emptiness smothered the homeland. Ahead, emptiness beckoned him forward, the allure of wealth and fame drawing him on, year after year, like a wasteland draws a cowboy. Now probability, the ruler of numbers, like god almighty, demanded that he die.

**

The vibration started as they pulled off a stellar mapping. He thought it a minor malfunction, Seraphim Two, the mechanic, confirmed it—a gyroscopic jet, one of many.

Less than a minute later, the fuel alarm went off, shrill and annoying, guaranteed to muster immediate attention, and it got his.

His mind was on it, digging through ghosts of the past: other missions, conversations with pilots, the Academy—

“Yes, the Academy,” he thought, “but who, when?”

His breathing became shallow and rapid, his mind struggling to sort the banal from the critical. A distant voice, vague and incoherent, flirted just beyond his grasp as his eye kept pulling him back to the plummeting fuel gauge.  

“Monitor body functions. Control to maximize mental capacity,” he whispered. Sweat trickled from his hair onto his forehead, pooling on his brow, ready to flood onto his face and into his eyes.   

Seraphim One was right there. In an instant, the pilot felt buffer being injected into his arm; with it tranquility filled his chest and mind.  

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